Trivedi posts strong fund-raising quarter

Democratic Congressional candidate Manan Trivedi, running to unseat Republican Jim Gerlach in a race just outside Philly, had his best fund-raising performance yet last quarter, a showing that he says proves he is building momentum heading into the final weeks of the campaign.

Trivedi raised $433,000 in the quarter than ended Oct. 1, he told me Wednesday, giving him around $1.1 million for the election cycle. The average House candidate raised $574,402 in 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

“We’re really happy with that and it shows serious momentum for us,” Trivedi said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m so honored to have the support of a people-powered campaign.”

He said 12,000 people donated to his campaign in the past three months. His race is in the Chester County-based sixth district.

“I think people are recognizing how winnable this race is,” Trivedi said.

Independent political analysts have said Trivedi has an uphill climb, noting that Democrats have targeted Gerlach for years but have never been able to oust him, and that the district grew more Republican after legislative redistricting. Roll Call, for one, lists the seat as "likely Republican." Trivedi argued that redistricting will work in his favor, because roughly half of the district is new, and therefore many voters don’t know Gerlach as well. (Gerlach defeated Trivedi in 2010 in a more Democratic district, though with the help of a conservative wave that helped Republicans dominate House elections).

Trivedi has done well for a challenger, but he’ll still be at a significant fund-raising disadvantage. His $1.1 million was raised in three quarters this year. Gerlach, through just two quarters, already had $1.7 million.

“Gerlach for Congress had an extremely successful quarter and the raised to date number exceeded our goals for this campaign,” said Gerlach spokesman Vince Galko. “Our campaign will have all the resources needed to win in November.”

Campaigns will formally disclose their fund-raising for the past quarter later this month.